Golfer’s Elbow: What can you do?

Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) is pain caused by inflammation of the muscles on the inner side of your elbow, where the tendons in your forearm attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. It’s similar to tennis elbow, except it occurs on the inside, rather than the outside, of your elbow.

 “The pain of golfer’s elbow shouldn’t keep you off the course. With rest and appropriate treatment, you can get back into the swing of things.” (Mayo Clinic, 2011)

 

The condition is generally the result of repetitive muscle stress or when a non-overlapping (baseball style) grip is used. Generally the inner elbow, forearm and sometimes wrist are sore. Baseball players get this too, and is also common in rock climbers.

What to do?

Before anesthetics, steroids or other medications are used, consider massage therapy. Qualified massage therapists can work on inner arm muscles and stretch other synergist (helper) muscles to relieve the pain, soften the tissues, and increase blow flow to aid healing and improve muscle function. Golfer’s elbow is generally very responsive to massage and it generally takes one massage session each week for about 3 weeks to get relief.  In addition to relief from golfer’s elbow, most clients also enjoy greater range of motion, a better quality of motion, and sometimes even an improved golf swing.

Prevention

One of the best ways to avoid elbow problems is to exercise forearm muscles and slow down your golf swing so there will be less shock to the arm when the ball is hit. Try simple forearm exercises, such as squeezing a tennis ball (about 5 minutes), or doing wrist curls with a light weight (12 reps each arm). Stretching before each golf game may also help.